Yesterday afternoon, the PlayStation Network Store greeted a game that could easily be the sleeper hit of the year. Tokyo Jungle drops you into the paws of dozens of different wild beasts amidst the ruins of post-apocalyptic Tokyo and tasks you with simply surviving. This means hunting, fleeing, finding food and eventually reproducing with a suitable mate. If that sounds like a brilliant premise, that’s because it is, but despite our affection for the esoteric wildlife simulator, the game could be improved. Given how relatively average its aesthetics are, why couldn’t the game have been developed for the PS Vita, allowing us all to hunt the dystopian landscape on the bus or while stuck in line at the DMV?
While the Tokyo Jungle developers at Sony Japan have yet to announce plans for a handheld version of the game, they do seem to like the idea and have opted to take advantage of one of the PlayStation 3’s functionality gimmicks to give players the next best thing to a full-fledged portable iteration of the game. Thanks to the surprisingly powerful hardware inside Sony’s flagship handheld machine, the Vita is capable of running PlayStation 3 games in “Remote Play” mode. This means that your PS3 is actually loading the game, and using its hardware to process all the necessary information, but the visuals and sound that would normally be piping out of your television are instead transplanted into the Vita. Thus making Tokyo Jungle effectively portable (though Remote Play will stop functioning once your Vita and PlayStation 3 are no longer on the same wireless network).
This news comes courtesy of Shuhei Yoshida, president of Sony’s Worldwide Studios. Though he offers no information on when we can expect to see the Remote Play patch, Yoshida did offer a pretty clear indicator of the company’s intentions in this recent tweet: “We are preparing for PS Vita Remote Play patch for Tokyo Jungle NA and EU versions, please wait a bit for the release timing info.”
While we wait for the patch — particularly those of us with too few televisions and too many live-in romantic interests — this seems like a very solid chance to convince anyone who has yet to pick up Tokyo Jungle to give the $15 game a shot. Yes, it’s quirky, but think of it as an animal-themed Metal Gear Solid set inside of a bizarrely oppressive, yet arcade-style world. If nothing else, the sheer number of unlockable beasts to find within the game should keep you occupied for months, and if you can’t find some entertainment value in ripping through scores of beagles with your newly acquired velociraptor before leading a harem of sexy ‘raptor ladies back to your own personal pile of hay to kickstart the next generation of frighteningly-intelligent dinos, we just don’t know what to tell you.